Calluses are layers of skin that the body builds up to protect itself from friction and pressure. They are the result of friction in a long-time/consistent basis; so as long as your hands are doing the hard work every day, most likely you have higher chance of getting a callus once in a while. You can identify lots of activities that can cause having calluses but the most common causes are from manual labor, and working out.
As someone who loves working out, this lifestyle is inevitable and you’ve got to embrace everything it encompasses but it doesn’t mean that you can’t handle any hurdles along the way.
Here are some expert tips on how you can take care of your hands and prevent those itchy whitish bulges whilst still doing your workout routine.
- STOP over-gripping. For a starter, sometimes we tend to execute too much from what is being asked us to do. Workout rule, observe and learn the proper alignments of your body and the proper execution. If we over-grip, our hands will suffer in the long run.
- No to having any accessories while working out. Some may say that they feel more confident having their ring or any bracelet with them, I’ll tell you, they are just distractions. It’s better to take them all off so you can just be yourself, and you’ll feel much more lighter during the time of your workout.
- Moisturize your hand daily or you can use a protective balm. Skin is the largest organ in our body and the most expose too. Moisturizing lotions keeps our skin soft, smooth and gentle, giving our skin added hydration and protection from outside factors, one of which is friction since we are talking about workout related; Meanwhile other potential harms that could affect our skin are: polluted air and too much exposure from the sun.
- Wear protective gloves. Gloves is a gear and it is very important to be complete with our gears especially if you are having CrossFit and other strenuous activity that includes your hands. Be mindful however to be picky in choosing a glove pair, as sometimes other CrossFitters find it difficult in having a good grip, so I think it all boils down again on which type of gloves suited for your hands and the material being used to fabric it.
And when all else seems impossible to halt the growth of the callus, don’t worry as we have some treatments and remedies, we can do to lessen it and prevent it from growing further.
- Soak the rough areas in the water. Soaking your calluses in warm water for 20 minutes or so will soften the tissue even further and eventually help you to exfoliate it. The objective is to soften the tissue and prepare the callus, so that you can slough off dead skin cells easily. Just like when we are cutting are nails, it is easier to trim our nails after a shower. Add Epsom salts for better results.
- Exfoliate the thickened skin. Once you have softened the calluses, you can begin to reduce them by exfoliating the thickened skin. Using a pumice stone, callus shaver, or microplane (a gentle grater designed for skin); Work gently to avoid going too deep or cutting yourself. Don’t be that aggressive. Rubbing to hard will only cause another skin problem; patience is really a must.
Take note: Do not use a pumice stone if you have diabetes. Doing so can increase your risk of infection.
- Apply lotion to moisturize the skin. A recommended lotion for dry and rough hands is CeraVe SA Renewing Skin Lotion, you can check it on amazon.
Some of the readers comments and suggestions are:
“Soak mine in the bathtub or hot tub and then use a pumice stone. I use Pumie from the cleaning isle in Home Depot. The salon pumice stones are way too smooth so they are useless. I use it about 3 times/week so callouses never get too thick. Leaves them nice and smooth. Don’t cut them. If you over do it, it will take too long to heal and interfere with your training”
“I use nipple cream. Sounds weird, but helps instantly”
“I wear barehand gloves and love them!!”
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March is the founder and owner of The Barbell Beauties which she started in 2015. She is from the Philippines and currently lives in beautiful Thailand with her American husband and daughter. She is an avid Crossfitter and has just started her journey into Muay Thai (kickboxing).